Artcelynn Ruiz is a 2nd year hybrid MDiv student at Claremont School of Theology hailing originally from Manila in the Philippines. Artcel’s family moved to the United States when she was a teenager and she is now a longtime resident of San Diego. Artcel currently serves at First United Methodist Church in Chula Vista, where she is enjoying planning worship, preaching, and playing a leadership role. She is especially passionate about outreach programs where she’s able to “follow God outside the walls of the church.”
Before feeling called to ministry, Artcel worked in corporate banking for many years. “I thought that was where I was going to retire. We were set. I thought that was my life, but God had other plans,” she explained. “I got called [to ministry] and I didn’t want to go, but I felt it in my heart that God was showing me a new way, a new door, and I had to take it. It took a lot of trust and faith in God that He would provide for us…and He did!”
For Artcel this call meant quitting her job to go back to school. Although it wasn’t easy drastically altering the course of her life and pursuing an undergraduate degree with students who were her son’s age, Artcel said, “I think I’m setting a good example for my kids [and nieces]: it’s not too late to pursue your dreams.” Artcel chose to major in communications, a foundation she’s been able to apply frequently in her ministerial relationships.
Artcel’s interest in becoming a student trustee came out of a desire to give back: “CST’s always been giving to me, and that’s why I asked how I could be of service. And I have so much passion for students too, because I know how lonely it gets, how hard it is.” In this role she hopes to continue emotionally supporting CST students and amplify their voices by conveying their pains and desires to CST’s Board. Her passion for both the school and the students has motivated her to pursue this conduit role that will allow her “to show love on both sides.”
Artcel understands the power of having supportive friends along the seminary journey: “When I’m feeling down, I call [my CST friends] and just share with them my frustrations. And they strengthen my walk and I keep going.”
Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.